Until now, the design of Apple’s AirPods hasn’t changed, except for the introduction of the more expensive Pro models. So the company’s announcement of the new 3rd Generation AirPods last week brought one of their most visible products into 2021 with a bang.A much shorter “stem” poking out of the earbud makes the overall aesthetic of the AirPods far more pleasing. They are basically the same length as the AirPods Pro, with the real difference being the bud inside the ear which on the Pro has a silicon tip while on the AirPods 3rd generation is designed as a universal fit for all ears.
The new AirPods have a newer shaped bud for in the ear, larger in part, but slightly rounder. They are just as remarkably easy to pair with other Apple devices, and their integration into Apple’s eco-system is one thing that makes them desirable — Siri reading out my notifications is something not many headphones can pull off.
Finally, on the stalk is a sensor you can squeeze to skip tracks, pause music and such. It’s great, but nowhere near as simple as just having a tap to touch sensor for the same function which many earphones have. The need to squeeze though does mean less accidental track skipping.Aside from the design, my main feedback after a week of use is the audio quality. The newly designed driver inside is delivering a fantastic audio quality. While there’s no noise cancelling, there’s a real clarity to the sound. Add to that the use of lossless and spacial audio on Apple Music and you really do get a unique experience.However, they are also $279. And while the 2nd generation longer stalk AirPods remain on sale at $219, and the Noise Cancelling enabled AirPods Pro for $399, it must be understood that you’re buying into the Apple Eco-system here. There are many, many headphones on the market that will rival Apple for sound quality, features, and most importantly overall value.
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